Kostopoulos No Longer A Penguin

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Photo courtesy of Amy's WBS Picture Page.
Practice came and went at Coal Street today as usual. It seemed like just another mid-week practice for the Penguins, who are about to embark on their longest road trip of the season. All that changed at noon. The guy who many say symbolizes what Penguins hockey is all about is no longer with the team.

I had already left the WBS Penguins practice facility but when the news broke that Tom Kostopoulos had been claimed off waivers by the New Jersey Devils, I quickly turned around. The AHL Penguins all-time leader in games played has seen his reunion tour with the Penguins end, just one day removed from the Penguins signing him to a one year, two-way NHL contract.

As I walked into Coal Street Rink for the second time today, Kostopoulos was of course the last guy off the ice as he usually is. Little did he know as he finished signing a fan's jersey that it would be his last autograph as a member of the Penguins. He was quickly called back into the locker room to be informed of the news.

I didn't get a chance to speak with TK but beat writer of the Citizens Voice Jonathan Bombulie did and here's what Kostopoulos had to say:
"One side of me is a bit torn because I was excited to be part of Pittsburgh's organization and to come back here and play in Wilkes-Barre, but I'm definitely excited to go to New Jersey" - Tom Kostopoulos 
The loss of Kostopoulos is certainly one that the Penguins fan base will not easily forget. But at the same time, TK definitely left his mark on some of the younger forwards on the team, namely Adam Payerl. What Kostopoulos brought to this team will not be forgotten. 

Not much news at practice today besides the Kostopoulos departure. Paul Thompson is still practicing in full and is set to return to the lineup this weekend. Steve MacIntyre came out to skate on his own after practice and is still not ready.

Lines during today's practice are below. They obviously will have a different look at tomorrow's practice.

Holzapfel - Smith - Kolarik
Payerl/Thompson - Gibbons - Uher/Thompson
Collins - Peters - Kostopoulos
Farnham - Sill - Minella/Megna

Reese - Dumoulin
Mormina - Grant/Wild
Samuelsson - Morrow


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